King students & staff give beloved custodian an emotional send-off on his last day

Video, photos and story by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

When King Elementary’s beloved custodian announced that he would be taking a job closer to his home, office professional Robyn Skodsinzky knew Joe Powell deserved a proper send-off.  A big, all-school, surround-the-man-with-love kind of send-off.

     “It was so much fun,” said Skodzinsky, referring to Friday’s send-off on the playground, where about 500 students lined up to high-five Powell, or in some cases give him a tearful hug.  “I wasn’t surprised that everyone came out to say goodbye. The smiles, hugs, and happy tears are all evidence of how kind and dedicated Joe is. His infectious laugh will be greatly missed!”

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Powell, who has been the King custodian and an after-school childcare teacher for five years. “I never expected anything like this.”

     Powell goes above and beyond what’s expected to keep King Elementary a clean, safe, and positive environment, Skodsinzky said.
     “Staff and students go to Mr. Joe with a myriad of requests and he makes everyone feel like their needs are first. In fact, his positive rapport with students attracted the attention of our childcare program. For the last few years, he has also been on staff with KingCare. This caring consistency has created a stable environment that many of our students need. They know they can count on Mr. Joe!”

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